If you’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Art recently, you may have noticed some new items in the galleries. Among these is a painting by Asher B. Durand. This kind of landscape painting may be out of fashion, but the thing about Hudson River Paintings, you know a good one as soon as you see it. You also are greeted with an immediate sense of confidence the United States (or artists) hasn’t known for some time. Few painters since have been this sure of themselves and the world or celebrated it with such clarity. At the time of creation, the United States was far from being a world power, hadn’t known the civil war and could focus all of her energy on building the nation. Unfortunately this meant cutting down the trees and a changing landscape that made scenes like this one fade like passing frames in a film. Hudson River painters like Durand would celebrate nature, humans in nature, and the natural wildness as a feature which distinguished our continent from that of Europe.